Monday, June 9, 2008

The Thrills @ The Zoo

Last Wednesday night we went to The Zoo to catch The Thrills on their current tour. I was a bit surprised to realise that it was the first time I'd been to The Zoo all year considering we're already up to June! The Zoo was one of the first venues I frequented when I started getting into the music scene all those years ago, and it hasn't changed much in that time. If you can get past the grungy feel on the surface (and some people can't), it's a great place to go and see bands play (except perhaps in the middle of summer, when its lack of air conditioning can make it a bit uncomfortable). I estimate its capacity to be somewhere around the 400 mark, which seems to be a good size to get the room pumping on sell-out nights, whilst still retaining an intimate feeling on those nights when the crowd is smaller. Tonight wasn't a sellout by any means, but there were plenty of people there to make for a good night out.

The support act tonight was Sparkadia. Whilst I recognised the name of the band, I can't recall hearing their music before, even though a few people said I know it when I heard it. Apparently they've been receiving a bit of air play on Triple J recently, and there were more than a few people in the crowd who were really into them. Their set got off to a shaky start due to some technical problems, but once they got going, they put forth a good indie-pop set. Their single, Animals, was a definite crowd pleaser, with most if not all of the room tapping, nodding, singing and/or dancing along with it.

According to vocalist and frontman, Conor Deasy, tonight marked the first time The Thrills have played for six months. Aside from similar technical difficulties at the start of the set though, you certainly wouldn't have noticed. The Thrills are out here on their Teenager album tour, but they were happy to play jukebox to the crowd, and their set ended up consisting mostly of songs from their back catalog, with just a handful of newer songs. This suited me fine, as I recognised most of the songs despite not yet owning their latest album. Highlights from the set included Saturday Night, The Irish Keep Gate-Crashing, Tell Me Something I Don't Know, Big Sur, Found My Rosebud, and Santa Cruz.

They did a cut-back version of Not For All The Love In The World, which featured a slide guitar part, but I don't think it came off with the same strength as the rest of the songs did. Maybe I just had high expectations for it given that it's one of my favourite songs of theirs. In any case, it was just a small part of a fantastic set. The band left the stage after their main set with a conspicuously missing song, but it wasn't long before they returned for two more, the last of which was their standout song, Whatever Happened To Corey Haim. All in all, a very entertaining night!

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